Here at Coffee Break Languages we want to help share our love of languages with a worldwide community of language learners, and that’s why we’re celebrating St Patrick’s Day by making our course in Irish Gaelic available for free on YouTube. In this course you’ll learn to introduce yourself, make conversation with other Irish speakers, and crucially learn to say “cheers” as you toast your friends on Lá fhéile Pádraig, St Patrick’s Day.
So how do you say “Cheers”?
“Cheers” in Irish is sláinte which is pronounced a bit like “slawn-che”. Sláinte means “health”, and if you’re feeling brave, you can say sláinte is táinte (“slawn-che iss toin-che”), meaning “health and wealth”. “Cheers” is one of the words included in lesson 10 of our course. Also included in lesson 10 is “I love you”, which you may also need this St Patrick’s Day weekend!
What is Irish Gaelic?
Irish Gaelic is spoken by around 75,000 people in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland and it’s also an official language of the European Union. In the Republic of Ireland, Irish enjoys official status and the Irish words for a number of public titles and organisations have been adopted into Irish English, e.g. Garda (police), Dail (parliament), and Taoiseach (Prime Minister).
Irish is a member of the Celtic language group which includes Scots Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Cornish and Manx. It’s closely related to Scots Gaelic and Manx, and an Irish speaker may understand a fair amount of written Scots Gaelic or Manx, though there is more variation in the spoken language, making it less mutually intelligible.
One important thing: make sure you know how to pronounce the word Gaelic properly: for Irish Gaelic, “Gael-” rhymes with the English word “sail”, while for Scottish Gaelic, “Gael-” rhymes with the English word “shall”!
What’s One Minute Irish?
Our One Minute Languages courses feature ten lessons and cover the absolute basics of the language. You’ll learn basic greetings and useful words, numbers 1-10, asking people “how are you?” and answering the question yourself and you’ll learn to say that you can speak a little Irish. You can access the full 10-lesson course in the video playlist below, or head over to our YouTube channel.
How do you say “Happy St Patrick’s Day” in Irish?
One final thing: since we’re making this course available for free to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, it’s only right that you learn how to say “Happy St Patrick’s Day” in Irish! Here’s a list of useful expressions:
- Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit! – Happy St Patrick’s Day to you (singular)
- Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh! – Happy St Patrick’s Day to you (plural)
- Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig dhuit! – St Patrick’s Day blessings to you (singular)
- Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! – St Patrick’s Day blessings to you (plural)